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Your Opinion: Stimulus spending fails to attain goals

Your Opinion: Stimulus spending fails to attain goals

February 24th, 2014 by Bert Dirschell, Centertown in News

Dear Editor:

In Obama's January 2009 report titled "The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan" he told us if we agreed to force all future generations to pay interest on the over $840 billion he wanted to borrow to fund the program, we would see a much improved unemployment situation. At that time unemployment was about 7.5 percent. He projected that with the additional spending unemployment would peak at less than 8 percent before falling to 5 percent by the end of 2013.

Obama is responsible for spending over $14 trillion from 2010-2013, over $5 trillion more than Bush spent during his first four years in office

Instead of "post stimulus" unemployment peaking at less than 8 percent it peaked at over 10 percent. Instead of it dropping to 5 percent by the end of 2013 it is 6.6 percent. For the over $800 billion of additional debt we got a peak unemployment rate 25 percent higher than promised and current unemployment 32 percent higher than promised. Do we need more proof that Obama's policies have taken our nation in the wrong direction?

One might suggest that the improvements our nation received from the increases in spending on the infrastructure made the program worthwhile (spending on the shovel ready projects)? Every four years the American Society of Civil Engineers issues a report grading our infrastructure. In 2009 the cumulative grade was a D and the estimated cost to "maintain a good state of repair" was estimated at $2.2 trillion. The 2013 report cumulative grade is D+, a slight improvement, but the cost skyrocketed to $3.6 trillion. (I have a bachelor of science civil engineering degree, I practiced structural engineering for over 40 years prior to retiring. The ASCE is a self-serving body. It leans heavily towards massive increases in infrastructure spending, which puts money in the pockets of civil engineers. While I think they tend to be alarmists, similar to the "global warming scientists," trying to extract more money from taxpayers, I don't think their methodology changes much from year to year.)

The major "benefit" taxpayers received from the stimulus spending is being forced to pay interest on the additional debt for all eternity. Can anyone tell me how taxpayers benefited from the over $4 trillion of increased spending, spending above and beyond Bush level spending/borrowing, that was not part of the stimulus?